Paragliding in the Caucasus – the Georgia Paragliding Air Festival

Tblisi by the Sea paragliding site, Georgia, home to the 2010 Georgia Air festival

Tblisi by the Sea paragliding site, Georgia, home to the 2010 Georgia Air festival

Nova team pilots Mik Broschart and Till Gottbrath travelled to the Caucasus at the end of June for the Georgia Paragliding Air Festival in Tbilisi.

Paragliding in Georgia is still in its infancy but the Georgian Minister of the Environment, Goga Khachidze is a passionate pilot, and is working hard to promote the sport in the region. The festival saw some 30 pilots from Georgia, Armenia, England, Israel and Germany flying together and exchanging ideas.

Mik Broschart said, “The atmosphere reminded me of my own euphoria 20 years ago. Flying, chatting with other pilots, trying new things, laughing… All the guests were overwhelmed by the hosts’ great generosity. The Georgians’ hospitality has no boundaries”. Mik and Till presented Goga with the gift of a brand new Nova Mentor.

Festival organiser Goga Khachidze happily received his new Mentor, a gift from Nova

Festival organiser Goga Khachidze happily received his new Mentor, a gift from Nova

The flying area at Tbilisi-by-the-Sea, where the festival was located, is a 150-metre-high, treeless, grassy hill next to a reservoir, with plenty of launching and landing space for paragliders. It’s mainly a soaring site, as it sits within the control zone of Tbilisi International Airport. Gudauri, the centre for skiing and mountaineering in the Georgian Caucasus, is a better option for thermal flights.

Gudauri paragliding launch, Georgia, a better bet for cross country flying

Gudauri paragliding launch, Georgia, a better bet for cross country flying

Irakli Kapanadze, described as the ‘nucleus’ of paragliding in Georgia, knows the region like no other, and he and Mik Broschart are proposing a recce mission by some experienced XC pilots to test out the terrain, perhaps in the autumn as September and October are the best times to fly there. Email Mik to find out more.


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